Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of  Powerful Learning Practice, where she works with schools and districts from across the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil, United Kingdom, Israel, Norway, and China to re-envision their learning cultures and communities through the Connected Learner Experience and other e-learning opportunities.

During a 25-year education career, Sheryl has been a classroom teacher, technology coach, charter school principal, district administrator, university instructor and digital learning consultant. She is the author (with Lani Ritter Hall) of The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age (Solution Tree, 2012) and is in the dissertation phase of completing her doctorate in Educational Planning, Policy and Leadership at the College of William and Mary.

Sheryl is a sought-after presenter at national and international events, speaking on topics of 21st Century reform, teacher and educational leadership, community building, and educational issues impacting marginalized populations such as the homeless. She is an advisor to the U.S. Department of Education’s Connected Educators initiative and a leader in the development of USDOE’s first Connected Educators Month in August 2012. She currently serves on the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Board of Directors. She also served on the New Media Consortium’s 2012 Horizon.K12 Report Advisory Board and their 2013 Horizon Higher Education Report Advisory Board. Sheryl consults with governments and non-profits that are integrating online communities and networks into their professional learning initiatives, including the Alberta Initiative for School Improvement (AISI), Virtual Independent School Network (VISNET), and the Oberkotter Foundation.

Sheryl lives near the Virginia shore and spends her spare time playing on the water with her four children, her grandson Luke Skywalker Walblay, and a trio of longhaired dachshunds. You can find out more on her blog and on Twitter @snbeach.

willbiopicsmall1Will Richardson: A parent of two middle school aged children, I’ve been thinking and writing about the intersection of social online learning networks and education for the past 10 years at, in numerous journals and magazines such as Ed LeadershipEducation Week andEnglish Journal, and most recently at I’m an outspoken advocate for change in schools and classrooms in the context of the diverse new learning opportunities that the Web and other technologies now offer.

A former public school educator for 22 years, I’m a co-founder of Powerful Learning Practice – unique Professional Development for Teachers that has mentored over 5,000 teachers worldwide in the last five years. My first book, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms (Corwin Press, 3rdEdition 2010) has sold over 80,000 copies and has impacted classroom practice around the world. My second book, Personal Learning Networks: Using the Power of Connections to Transform Education, (Solution Tree) was released in May, 2011. And my third book, a collection of blog posts titled Learning on the Blog, was published in August of 2011 by Corwin Press.

Over the past six years, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to speak and work with to tens of thousands of educators in over a dozen countries about the merits of online learning networks for personal and professional growth. I’m proud to ba a national advisory board member of the George Lucas Education Foundation, and a regular columnist for District Administration Magazine.

When I’m not on the road, you can find me in rural New Jersey with my wife Wendy and my children Tess and Tucker.

Community Leaders

Lani Ritter HallLani Ritter Hall is Community Leader of the Connected Learner Experience as well as Director of Connected Coaching. She also serves as the “Newbie Maven”, helping along and nurturing newbies to the PLP experience. Lani brings more than 35 years of teaching experiences in urban, sub urban, and independent schools at the middle/secondary level in the U.S and Canada to this work. A national board certified teacher, she and her students began collaborating globally in the late 1980’s. Lani has created and facilitated professional development around technology infusion into learning for over twenty years and served in a leadership role for the K12Online Conference for 2 years. She blogs at Possibilities Abound.


Christen DoddChristen Dodd is the Director of eLearning for Powerful Learning Practice.  After earning her MEd. in Curriculum and Instructionat the University of Virginia, she began her career as a K-5 Computer Resource Teacher.  She enjoyed collaborating with staff and creating technology lessons that engaged students, but caught “the bug” for presenting to educators on a national level.  For the past eleven years, Christen has been training educators both face-to-face and virtually with Verizon Thinkfinity.  She has served as the Distance Learning Coordinator for and most recently their Vice President of Professional Development.  She is looking forward to bringing her enthusiasm and passion to Powerful Learning Practice and continuing her work with educators, parents and students alike.

Marketing & Capacity Building

John NortonJohn Norton is the managing Editorial Director for Powerful Learning Press, the publishing arm of Powerful Learning Practice and edits our group blog Voices from the Learning Revolution.  John is an education consultant, specializing in writing, editing and virtual community development. He’s been an award-winning education journalist, director of a state teacher recruitment center, and served as Vice President for Information at the Southern Regional Education Board. Founder of MiddleWeb and co-founder of the Teacher Leaders Network, he began his long career on the support side of education in the 1970s, when he was a parent organizer and student advocate during the early days of school desegregation in the South. He lives in the mountain woods of North Carolina, thanks to high-speed DSL.

Amber Karnes

Amber Karnes is Marketing Director for Powerful Learning Practice. Her 10+ years experience includes graphic design, web design, web development, social media marketing, content strategy, content creation, and more. Amber has worked with clients from national touring bands to bestselling authors to Fortune 500 companies, and specializes in empowering small businesses and entrepreneurs to take control of their web presence and make their businesses shine. Amber has a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from Old Dominion University and is extensively self-taught through the university of “Googling it and figuring it out”. You can find her on Twitter as @amberkarnes or blogging about her adventures at
My Aim Is True. When she’s not writing, designing, and building a better internet, you can find her practicing yoga, knitting or quilting, reading, or hiking in the Virginia mountains with her husband and Boston terrier.

Chris Headshot

Chris Davis is a Senior Graphic Designer for Power Learning Practice. He comes from a computer science background and has recently obtained an AAS in graphic design. Chris is an avid CrossFitter, a Paleo nut, and possibly part monkey. He has a special place in his heart for furry canine companions and animation, and in some cases the two together. His aspirations include but are certainly not limited to joining the Virginia Beach Police Department, continuing his art education and becoming the world’s first partial cyborg. Zombies beware. Chris is looking forward to a wonderful and productive year at PLP.

Connected Coaches

Jennifer BloomingdaleJennifer Bloomingdale graduated from the College of St. Rose in 2006 with a Bachelors in Childhood Education. In 2011 she completed her Masters in Educational Technology and became a New York State certified Educational Technology Specialist.  Jennifer has four years of elementary teaching experience, which includes implementing a 1:1 netbook initiative. It was through her teaching experience and masters program that Jennifer developed a passion for integrating technology and assisting others in doing so. Jennifer is also a Google Educator certified in both Google Apps and Chromebook. Here you will find Jennifer’s Digital Portfolio.

genecarboniGene Carboni is the Business/Technology Chair at Father Judge High School for Boys in Philadelphia, PA. He attended St. Joseph’s University Evening College and started teaching in Adult Education in 1984. His wife of 37 years, Elaine teaches 8th Grade ELA and their son, Gene is a High School, Social Studies teacher.

Gene’s PLP experience started in 2008 as Team Leader for his school’s team. Since that time he has been a PLP Fellow and a Connected Coach. He is active in various online educational communities, as well as an avid Twitter user who has a passion for sharing good educational resources to facilitate change. He is starting his second year as a member of The University of Pennsylvania’s Distributed Leadership team and serves on his school’s Technology Vision team. Gene dedicates his time to developing in-house staff development for 60+ teachers, administrators, and support staff. He has presented at various diocesan Technology In-services hosted by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and was named a Diocesan Technology Star in 2009. Gene maintains Learning & Sharing 2.0 a site focused on helping educators embrace change, engage their students with new technologies making them ready to enter the 21st Century Work Force.

annefoxAnne Fox is a freelance English teacher and teacher trainer in the integration of ICT in everyday practice. She is also an experienced project partner and coordinator of Nordic and European projects which usually revolve around online learning, language and intercultural communication. Anne’s interest in digital tools started as an expatriate to Denmark in the 1990s as a way of keeping in touch with her family in the UK and France and also for professional development in her newly adopted role as English teacher. At the moment Anne works mostly helping adults improve their English but has also taught Danish high school students English and ICT. She is a Connected Coach from the class of February 2012 and is looking forward to meeting more fabulous PLP’ers in the upcoming session. Anne is co-host of the Absolutely Intercultural podcast and blogs here. Her favorite summer sport is tennis, both playing and watching the pros. In the long, dark Danish winters she is partial to reading about what makes people tick (sociology, history, psychology).

Amy MusoneAmy Musone: I have been teaching elementary aged students since 1991 and am currently teaching third graders. I am continually aspiring to create a connected, authentic, relevant learning environment through PBL, use of primary documents, and of course, with the help of technology. I could not imagine being able to do the things I am able to do without the support from my colleagues, PLN, and communities of practice. I was introduced to PLP just last year and am completely hooked. I was involved in a yearlong professional development program with a cohort of teachers, took the connected coaching class, am currently involved in an online book club, and will be taking four more classes through PLP this year. The more I learn and grow, the more I want to learn and grow. Besides teaching children and being involved with PLP, I have been involved in facilitating a variety of professional development sessions. I recently began to blog and can be found on Twitter.